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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

of England—the Red, the Fair, the Wicked, the ;
Ruthless,—she   felt  how they raged  under it, ;
Kind old Mrs. Beckwith said something sensible,
But it was a house full of unrelated passions—she
had felt that all the evening.   And on top of this
chaos Mr. Ramsay got up, pressed her hand, and
said: "You will find us much changed7' and
none of them had moved or had spoken; but had;
sat there as if they were forced to let him say it,
Only. James (certainly the Sullen) scowled at the,,
lamp; and Cam screwed her handkerchief round
her finger.   Then he reminded them that they
were going to the Lighthouse to-morrow.    They
must be ready, in the hall, on the stroke of half-
past seven.    Then, with his hand on the door^
he stopped; he turned upon them.   Did they net
want to go? he demanded.    Had they dared say;
No (he had some reason for wanting it) he would!
have flung himself tragically backwards into the!
bitter waters  of despair.    Such a  gift he had1
for gesture.    He looked  like a  king in  exile. j
Doggedly James said yes.    Cam stumbled more!
wretchedly.   Yes, oh yes, they'd both be ready,
they said.   And it struck her, this was tragedy— j
not palls, dust, and the shroud;   but children,
coerced, their spirits subdued.   James was sixteen,
Cam seventeen, perhaps.   She had looked round,
for someone who was not there, for Mrs. Ramsay,
230                                                                 I